Quite often when browsing stamps I come across items regarding certain people or subjects of which I previously had no knowledge. But that’s part of the fascination of stamp collecting as a hobby – it can be both intriguing and educational at the same time.

Benjamin Banneker, U.S.A. 1980

For example, the stamp above from United States Postal Service’s Black Heritage series celebrates the achievements of Benjamin Banneker (1731–1826), who was a self-taught mathematician and astronomer.

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For Pope John Paul II’s visit to Austria in 1983, a postcard with a printed 3 schillings stamp, the ‘Bischofsmütze’, was produced as part of the ‘Get to know Austria’ postcard series. The card depicts the wooden image of the Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus, which is in the Mariazell Basilica, in Mariazell, Austria.

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Harry Potter Christmas stamp, Netherlands 2005

Harry Potter is possibly the world’s most popular wizard, and author J.K. Rowling’s fictional character’s exploits have been the subject of many stamp issues.

The first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, was published in 1997 and almost immediately the character acquired cult status.

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If you think this is just a normal picture of a red fox you are mistaken. There is more to the image than that seen at first glance. Over the years the United States Postal Service has issued more than 40 stamps containing hidden words/images that require a specially-produced ‘Stamp Decoder’ to see what is not clearly visible on the stamps.

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….. the song with the above title has been recorded on more than 200 singles and albums and by many famous singers, including Bing Crosby, Connie Francis, John McCormack and Roger Whittaker. Ireland is a country renowned not only for its folk music but also for its rock stars.

Eire 2019

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New Zealand 1994

The ancestors of New Zealand’s Māori people arrived in canoes from Pacific islands before 1300 AD. The Māori had no written language and thus their history and legends were passed on orally from generation to generation, and through carving and weaving.

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The theatrical group Stage Commandos was born during World War II within the dockyards in Malta’s Cottonera locality. This theatrical group was formed purely to entertain the dock workers, keeping their morale high and positive. The workers themselves built a stage out of wooden boxes and soon the performances attracted audiences from the areas around the docks.

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This article features four Norwegian rock music performers well known in Scandinavia but possibly not so well known in other parts of the world. In 2009 Norway issued a set of four stamps honouring their musical achievements. On the stamp above is rock singer and musician Jan Rohde, who was born on July 4 (US Independence Day), 1942 in New York, to Norwegian parents. At the age of 13, Rohde moved with his parents to Norway. From the age of 16 he performed with various bands, such as The Cool Cats. He toured Europe with the girl group The Melody Sisters. Later the group The Adventurers was formed –  they were later renamed The Wild Ones. The group consisted mainly of Norwegian and Swedish musicians, but also made it big in Finland. Rohde died on October 9, 2005 in Hägersten, Stockholm.

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PostBeeld has recently acquired a large amount of Europa stamps and we feature here a selection with the theme History, all from the year 1982. The first is from Portugal, showing King Emanuel I (1469-1521) on his way to meet Pope Leo X in the year 1514.

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The American Apollo 11 lunar mission took place in July 1969. It is remembered as one of the world’s most significant historical events, the impact of which has affected the lives of the world’s population, and continues as a source of inspiration to this day. 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of what was the first moon landing.

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